The complex legacy of Vietnam’s colonial history and geographic situation have created a country that shimmers with competing cultures and the fusion of influences. Layered under these hundreds of facets lies the incorruptible heart of this place: it’s truly astonishing natural beauty and its generous, resilient people. Before you leave Vietnam, you will have fallen in love with both.
Flights to Vietnam
Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport (SGN) is the largest and busiest of the country’s airports, serving Ho Chi Minh City. It sees more than 17.5 million passengers each year. It acts as a hub for Jetstar Pacific Airlines, VASCO, VietJet Air, and Vietnam Airlines.
The other two busiest international airports in the country are Noi Bai International Airport, serving Hanoi, with more than 11 million passengers annually, and Da Nang International Airport, which serves around 6 million.
What to Do in Vietnam
In a country this vibrant and diverse, you need to let yourself be dissolved into the daily experience to have any hope of understanding it. The tsunami of souls rushing through the streets of Hanoi. The subtle flavors and heady scents of the food. The soaring majesty of the mountains in Cao Bang. The gorgeous weirdness of limestone formations jutting from the water in Halong Bay. The good humor shared with locals over a cup of bia hoi. We’d need a thousand words to come close to expressing the magic of this place. You’re just going to have to go experience it for yourself.
Advice to Tourists Visiting Vietnam
You’ll need a valid passport. Most nationalities will need to arrange for a visa in advance of visiting Vietnam. This can be a confusing process. There are many online agencies offering to arrange a visa or letter of approval for you. Some are legitimate, some may be less so. The recommended course of action is to contact your local Vietnamese agency to ask for advice well in advance of travel.
The language is Vietnamese, which can be a challenge to learn for outsiders. Most hotel and airline staff and a large portion of young people will have some proficiency in English, which should help you get by. Additionally, many signs and menus will have English translations. An instant translation app can come in handy in some instances. The national currency is the dong. Many visitors find it easiest to carry cash in USD and change some into dong when needed.
In such a large country, the climate varies wildly between regions and seasons. The best time to visit will depend on your itinerary, but whenever you travel, remember to check Skyscanners free hotel price comparison tool for the best deals available.
Images by Flickr/goosmurf
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